A huge school of Yellowstripe Scads in tight formation in the waters of Dampier Strait off the Raja Ampat Islands of Indonesia. The Coral Triangle contains 75 percent of all known coral species, shelters 40 percent of the world’s reef fish species and provides for 126 million people.


Science and Commitment to Practical Problem-Solving

SNAPP’s leadership — its director, board of directors and scientific advisory council — brings unprecedented critical thinking, boldness and commitment to the task of reaching solutions to some of the planet’s most intractable problems. Drawing from conservation, academics and the development community, this group chooses inquiries whose answers promise maximum impact for people and nature and ensures that those inquiries adhere to the most rigorous scientific standards.

Photo: © Jeff Yonover | More Info

Executive Director

Craig Groves

Craig Groves is a leading conservation science innovator with a career spanning nearly 30 years at both The Nature Conservancy and WCS. He has published over 40 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and was honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship to write Drafting a Conservation Blueprint: A Practitioner’s Guide to Planning for Biodiversity (Island Press 2003). Craig currently serves as Series Editor for IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Best Practice Guidelines as well as on a National Academy of Sciences team evaluating the purpose, goals and scientific merits of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. His second book — Conservation Planning: Informed Decisions for a Healthier Planet (Roberts & Co. 2015), co-authored with Conservancy Senior Scientist Edward Game — will help conservation planners, scientists and practitioners grapple more effectively with climate change and a world of 10 billion people. Read more

Board of Directors

Frank Davis

Frank Davis is a professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara as well as director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). He is founder and director of the UCSB Biogeography Lab and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has also served on several boards and committees of the National Research Council, including chair of the NRC’s committee for the Independent Scientific Review of the Everglades Restoration Program, and as a member of the Committee on Science for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Future. Read more

Board of Directors

Ruth DeFries

Ruth DeFries is the Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York City. Her research investigates the relationships among human transformation of the land surface and the biogeochemical and ecological processes that regulate the Earth’s habitability. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, and fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, American Geophysical Union, Ecological Society of America, and American Academy for Arts and Sciences. Her recent book for a popular audience The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Nature Crisis was published in September 2014. Read more

Board of Directors

Adriana Dinu

Adriana is the Executive Coordinator of the UNDP – Global Environmental Finance Unit in the Bureau for Policy and Programming Support. Adriana has 30 years of applied experience in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in over 80 countries worldwide. Before joining UNDP, Adriana was based in South Africa as Development Director for Fauna & Flora International and before that in Washington, DC as Director for Habitat Programs, for EarthVoice and as a biodiversity expert with the World Bank ECA. Adriana holds a MSc in Genetics (University of Bucharest) and one in Ecotechny (UNESCO/Cousteau Chair, University of Bucharest). Read More

Board of Directors

Harry Hagey

At the end of 2006, Harry Hagey retired as both Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dodge & Cox Funds (investment firm) and as Chairman, Director and portfolio manager of Dodge & Cox. In 2010, Mr. Hagey and his wife Shirley help the lead the conception, development and launch of the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) initiative. Mr. Hagey has also served on numerous boards, including St. Luke’s Hospital, the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, and The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco (2004 – 2012), a highly respected scientific and education institution dedicated to “exploring, explaining and sustaining life on Earth” through research, education, and public engagement programs. Read more

Board of Directors

Benjamin S. Halpern

Dr. Ben Halpern is the Executive Director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and Professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. He also leads the SNAPP working group on Sustainable Offshore Aquaculture. In the past 15 years Dr. Halpern has published nearly 150 peer-reviewed articles and was recently named one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thompson-Reuters. In November, he will be presented with the 2016 A.G. Huntsman Award for excellence in research and outstanding contributions to marine sciences. Read more

Board of Directors

Peter Kareiva

Peter Kareiva is the Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). He also works closely with The Nature Conservancy and serves as Chairman of its Science Cabinet and is a member of its Science Council. Named a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2011, he has published more than 100 scientific articles and books, including (with Michelle Marvier) Conservation Science: Balancing the Needs of People and Nature (Roberts & Co. 2010) A member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a former Guggenheim Fellow, he co-founded the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University and is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the Society for Conservation Biology. Read More


Board of Directors

Hugh Possingham

Dr. Hugh Possingham begins his new role as Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy in November 2016, where he will lead the work of more than 600 scientists engaged in conservation. He is currently an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and director of The Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at the University of Queensland. He simultaneously serves as director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Read More

Board of Directors

John Robinson

John Robinson is chief conservation officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), where he oversees WCS’s conservation programs in the Americas, Africa and Asia. He serves as chairman of the Board of Foundations of Success and is a past president of the Society for Conservation Biology. Since 2012, he has served as a vice president and a councilor for North America for the IUCN. In 2003, he was inducted into the Royal Order of the Golden Ark by King Bernhard of the Netherlands, in recognition of lifetime achievement and service to conservation. He has published more than 200 books and papers. Read more

Board of Directors

Cristián Samper

Cristián Samper, tropical biologist and international authority on conservation biology and environmental policy, began his tenure as president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society in 2012. He joined WCS after a decade as director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the world’s largest natural history collection. He is a member of the boards of the Carnegie Institution for Science, Bioversity International, and Harvard University’s Board of Overseers. He has also served as vice-chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and as a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Read more

Board of Directors

Mark Tercek

Mark Tercek is the president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy and author of Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive By Investing in Nature. A former managing director and Partner for Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years, he brings deep business experience to his role leading the Conservancy. In 2012, he was appointed to the New York State 2100 Commission by Governor Cuomo to advise the governor and the state on how to make the state’s infrastructure more resilient to storms. He also serves on several boards and councils, including the Nicolas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University and Resources for the Future. Read more

Board of Directors

Ward W. Woods

Ward Woods is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wildlife Conservation Society and also serves on the Board of Trustees for the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. He is also is a former Trustee of Stanford University; former Chairman of Stanford Management Company; Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University; and a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Woods currently serves as a director of Bessemer Securities Corporation and Bessemer Trust Company, as well as a number of private companies. Read more

Science Advisory Council

Paul Armsworth

Paul Armsworth is an Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and on the leadership team of NSF’s National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, a sister institute to SNaP-NCEAS. His research examines how ecology and economics can be integrated to inform more effective conservation and natural resource management strategies. His research group collaborates closely with partners around the world drawn from public agencies, nonprofits and for profits as well as academics from a range of disciplines. Paul has authored over 90 peer reviewed publications and participated in relevant national and international science panels. Read more

Science Advisory Council

Elena Bennett

Elena Bennett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and McGill School of Environment at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her team’s research focuses on using ecosystem services as a means to plan for multifunctional landscapes. They are currently working with local governments around Montreal to understand how connected green space, especially forest patches, can improve the provision of multiple services for their communities. She is co-chair of ecoSERVICES, a Future Earth core project that aims to bring together ecosystem service researchers from around the world to investigate the social-ecological production and use of ecosystem services.

Science Advisory Council

Fabrice DeClerck

Fabrice DeClerck joined Bioversity International in January 2012 to lead the programme in Agrobiodiversity and Ecosystem Services. This research program has two thematic areas of research: Adaptation to climate change and Agricultural ecosystems. He also leads the Ecosystem Services and Resilience working group of the CGIAR Research Program on Water Land and Ecosystems. He is a landscape and community ecologist whose primary research interests center on the ecological mechanisms that drive the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes and how these mechanisms can be used to increase the livelihoods of the farming communities of developing countries.

Science Advisory Council

Jane Carter Ingram

Jane Carter Ingram is Senior Manager for Climate Change and Sustainability Services at Ernst and Young where she focuses primarily on natural capital measurement tools and strategies. Before joining Ernst and Young, she was the director of the Ecosystem Services program and lead of Science for Nature and People at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). She is also an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Earth Institute Center for  Environmental Sustainability at Columbia University and serves on the steering committee for the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Technical Advisory Committee for the United Nations Development Program’s Equator Initiative, the Advisory Board for the Global Fund for Widows, and the Global Advisory Board for Womensphere.  Read more

Science Advisory Council

Carrie Kappel

Carrie Kappel has been a long time Center Associate at NCEAS. A marine conservation biologist and community ecologist by training, she has worked in coral reefs, kelp forests and rocky intertidal systems and now uses collaborative synthesis science to develop conservation solutions that protect marine ecosystems and enhance human wellbeing. Carrie also provides facilitation services for SNAP: Science for Nature and People projects, drawing on her long history leading and participating in interdisciplinary collaborative working groups. Read more

Science Advisory Council

Yuta Masuda

Yuta Masuda is a scientist at The Nature Conservancy where he works on investigating the impacts and links between conservation programs, the environment, and human well-being. Before joining the Conservancy in 2013, Yuta conducted research on water infrastructure, time use, and gender in Ethiopia. Prior to that he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia and also worked at RTI International as a Health Economics Research Assistant and has published in a number of economic and policy journals. Read more

Science Advisory Council

Jensen Montambault

Jensen Montambault is a senior scientist with The Nature Conservancy where she researches questions at the nexus of nature conservation and human wellbeing. Prior to joining the Conservancy, she served as a community environmental promoter in Peace Corps-Nicaragua, managed grants for the USAID Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and coordinated Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program. Read more


Science Advisory Council

Dilys Roe

Dilys Roe is a principal researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) a sustainable development think-tank based in London. She leads IIED’s work on biodiversity which focuses on integrating social concerns into conservation policy and practice; supporting community based approaches to biodiversity management; and mainstreaming biodiversity into development policy. She is also member of the steering committee of IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi) and is a Fellow of the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). During her 20+ years at IIED, Dilys has also been seconded to the UK Department for International Development as a consultant biodiversity advisor. Read more

Science Advisory Council

Mark Schildhauer

Mark Schildhauer has been the Director of Computing at NCEAS since its inception in 1995. He oversees the creation and maintenance of NCEAS’ cyberinfrastructure and technology staff with a focus on the scientific computing needs of researchers at NCEAS. His technology research interests are primarily in the areas of informatics, the semantic web, scientific workflows, computer-supported collaborative research, and Open Science, all in the context of facilitating integrative environmental and conservation science. Read more

Science Advisory Council

Bhaskar Vira

Bhaskar Vira teaches at the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, specialising in environment and development; he is a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College. His research interests center on the changing political economy of development in both rural and urban contexts, especially in India; and on political ecology, focusing on forests, wildlife and landuse change and the social context for biodiversity conservation. He is closely involved with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, and the Global Food Security strategic research initiative at the University of Cambridge, and is the Founding Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute. Read more

Science Advisory Council

James Watson

James Watson is the Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Change Initiative. Before joining WCS, James was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Queensland. He is the current president-elect of the Society of Conservation Biology and is also co-chair of the newly formed IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) climate change specialist group. He has published more than 70 peer reviewed and popular articles on conservation related issues, is an associate editor for Conservation Biology, Diversity and Distributions, Scientific Reports and Pacific Conservation Biology, and also serves as Associate Professor at the School of Geography, Planning and Environment Management at the University of Queensland. Read more